There are tons of websites across the internet, some of which are quite attractive and informative. Research suggests that thousands of websites are created on a regular basis, but it’s a challenging task for web designers to make the website SEO friendly. There are some rules and guidelines of designing a successful website. It is a must for web designers to know the key elements of web design SEO.
Building a website can be daunting. The problem is that most designers forget the purpose of designing a website. They give priority to usability and practicality, which is good, but they should keep SEO in mind as well. In this post, I am going to highlight top 10 SEO mistakes web designers make when designing a website.
1. Ignoring title tags and meta descriptions
Whenever I see websites with their company name and logo on each and every webpage, I feel how they could do this mistake of ignoring title tags. If you want your website to be noticed by search engines, you should have unique title tags. Your page titles are usually shared on social media sites and used as texts when the website is bookmarked. Hence, it is very important to have unique title tags.
Similarly, every webpage should have a unique Meta description, describing the webpage. Your homepage and other pages should have a custom description that will make people click on your listing in search results.
2. Forgetting to Unblocking search engines
Forgetting to unblock the search engines will cause a major problem and happens more often than you imagine. Web designers usually set to block the search engines to crawl during website maintenance or design. However, once the site is done, they forget to unblock the search engines from crawling the website. With lots of things going around, it is not unusual to do this mistake.
Web designers can avoid this by checking with Google Webmaster tools’ robots.txt Tester and ensure that the site is indexed. You can also check robots.txt file, that is here for all sites: domain.com/robots.txt (kindly replace domain.com with your website) and make sure it is not blocking search engines. If you see following, then immediately change it yourself or ask your designer to do it.
Note: You just need to remove that ‘/’.
3. Neglecting local search
Local search is as important as any other SEO factor. If you are running a business that focuses on the local audience, you should consider local search. Web designers should include business name, address, phone number and other details on the website.
4. Not installing analytics properly
This is one of the common mistakes that web designers do. They should be very careful while installing the analytics code properly as they redesign or revamp the website. There are many analytic providers that will cause significant issues in the historical tracking of the website and it is must for web designers to avoid this.
5. Using new code and features
Websites should be updated on a regular basis to meet the requirements of changing algorithm. Don’t considering SEO while changing the code is the common mistake most of the web designers do while designing or revamping the website. There are valid reasons that web designers might want to introduce to improve the functionality of their website.
The improved functionality of the website should not dip the traffic. Hence, web designers should have a potential understanding of the website traffic. This will help them make an informed decision on improving the functionality without affecting the traffic.
6. Ignoring 301 redirects
A 301 redirect is considered as a permanent redirect from one URL to the other. Whether the web designer is switching domain names or changing the content as a part of website redesign, they should ensure that the 301 redirect is right. This not only ensures that the SEO is transferred from old URL to the new URL, but will enhance the performance of your website.
Web designers can take help of SEO experts in this regard to ensure that the SEO of website remains unchanged while revamping or redesigning the website.
7. Ignoring the structure of URL
Structuring the URLs of the website is very important when designing a website. The URLs of the website should be short and relevant to page’s content. For example, domain.com/about is good, while domain.com/?p=1 is bad. The use of short URLs makes possible to see where the click is taking the visitors.
8. Not using responsive design
Today, people use multiple devices to browse the internet. Hence, it is important to design a website that caters to different devices, which users will be accessing your website with. Responsive websites are the preferred configuration for search engines and if you want the website to deliver a great browsing experience, use responsive web design.
The good thing that happens with responsive design is that all the URLs are same across different devices. They serve up the same HTML code, which makes it easier for Google to crawl across the webpages and retrieve the content.
9. Uncrawlable flash
These days, there is an increasing popularity of flash-based websites. These websites are not SEO friendly and if you want to improve the indexing of your website, web designers should improve the crawling of flash content.
10. Navigation problems
Improper navigation is one of the biggest mistakes that impact the SEO of your website. Adding multiple navigation elements on both sides of the web page is worse than having too many items in the main navigation bar. The design of website’s navigation has a great impact on the success or failure of the website.
Navigation should be descriptive. It is a great opportunity to indicate your relevance to search engines. Use labels that include popular keywords or phrases that will help your website rank high on search engine page results. Also, make sure most important pages are accessible from the homepage of website i.e. about, contact, services etc.
If you did any of the above mistakes while designing the website, you should think of fixing them. When it comes to SEO, Google rewards user experience more than any other thing. It is important to consider how you want to find the information you would be looking for as a visitor to your website.
Think of giving the visitors the best information they are looking in an easy way! Please let me know your thoughts in comments and do share this post with your friends if you find it useful.